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How to convert a PDF to a TIFF file

by Casey Schmidt  |  April 17, 2020

3 min. read
Arrows moving in different directions.

If you’ve used PDF extensively, you know how difficult it can be to edit and change it. Luckily, there are different files types available that can help smooth the process. Consider converting to one of them when you need different functionality. One such possible file type is the TIFF. Here’s a guide on how to convert a PDF to a TIFF. First, we’ll give a brief explanation of both formats.

What is a PDF?

The PDF document file (Portable Document Format) is a popular file type that contains things like text, images, videos and hyperlinks. It is typically the standard format for the sharing of different professional documents. This is because it restricts editing, cutting down on accidents and changes to the document. It’s also a highly secure format, capable of numerous helpful restrictions and controls.

What is a TIFF?

The TIFF image file (Tagged Image File Format) is an Adobe file type that contains high quality images. It’s a raster image that allows for both lossy and lossless compression (meaning it can lose image quality or retain it upon compression). Users who want numerous pages or layers within their project would want to use TIFF. Though TIFF is fairly accessible, it’s a pretty niche format, likely to only be used by a specific group of graphic designers.

The TIFF file icon.
The TIFF is a raster graphics format.

How to convert a PDF to a TIFF

There are a few different ways to convert the PDF to TIFF. First, you could download a third party program and install it onto your system. This is only necessary if you don’t have Acrobat installed. This method is best for users with a lot of PDF files they want to convert in bulk. The other method is to use an online converter, such as a browser-based system. If you do have Adobe Acrobat, it’s preferable as it is the most direct method.

Here’s how to convert directly in Acrobat:

  1. Click File
  2. Select ‘Save as other’
  3. Choose ‘image’
  4. Select TIFF

Why convert a PDF to TIFF?

If your project is heavily image-based and you want to manipulate the images, a TIFF is probably best. The PDF is very tough to edit or change without first switching to another format. Therefore, even if you want to ultimately end up in the PDF format, it makes sense to convert, make changes, then convert back. The PDF is more likely the file type you want at the end of your process, when it’s time to send out and share the content.

The PDF file icon.
Sometimes, you’ll need to convert back from a TIFF.

The problem sometimes with the PDF is it’s just to hard to edit, especially for users without Adobe systems. One example that demonstrates this is if you were to share a PDF with another team member for a project, and they didn’t have any way to make edits to the work. This is where it ultimately makes a lot of sense to switch over to a more accessible file type like the TIFF.

How to convert back

If you decide you want the TIFF file back into a PDF format, you’ll need to perform a reverse conversion. Fortunately, converting back is done within Adobe Acrobat. We’ll walk you through the process – it’s quite easy.

  1. In Acrobat, click ‘File’
  2. Click ‘Create PDF from File’
  3. Click ‘Select Files to Convert to PDF’
  4. Locate the TIFF file you wish to convert back

There are a lot of factors that go into converting a PDF to TIFF. Make sure you have a good idea of why you’re converting before you do so. Also, remember that it’s always possible to convert back.